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USDOL Press Release: Withdrawal of Proposed Occupational Child Safety Rules for Farms

News Release

WHD News Release: [04/26/2012]
Contact Name: Joshua R. Lamont or Elizabeth Alexander
Phone Number: (202) 693-4661 or x4675
Release Number: 12-0826-NAT

Labor Department statement on withdrawal of proposed rule dealing with children who work in agricultural vocations

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today issued the following statement regarding the withdrawal of a proposed rule dealing with children who work in agricultural vocations:

“The Obama administration is firmly committed to promoting family farmers and respecting the rural way of life, especially the role that parents and other family members play in passing those traditions down through the generations. The Obama administration is also deeply committed to listening and responding to what Americans across the country have to say about proposed rules and regulations.

“As a result, the Department of Labor is announcing today the withdrawal of the proposed rule dealing with children under the age of 16 who work in agricultural vocations.

“The decision to withdraw this rule — including provisions to define the ‘parental exemption’ — was made in response to thousands of comments expressing concerns about the effect of the proposed rules on small family-owned farms. To be clear, this regulation will not be pursued for the duration of the Obama administration.

“Instead, the Departments of Labor and Agriculture will work with rural stakeholders — such as the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Farmers Union, the Future Farmers of America, and 4-H — to develop an educational program to reduce accidents to young workers and promote safer agricultural working practices.”… Read the rest

US Department of Labor awards nearly $20 million to combat exploitive child labor in Bolivia, Egypt and Jordan

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced nearly $20 million in grants awarded to combat exploitive child labor in Bolivia, Egypt and Jordan.

The grants will fund projects that provide children with education and training opportunities, and help improve the livelihoods of families so they no longer need to rely on children’s labor. These projects will work with countries that have shown strong political will to address abusive child labor and tackle its root causes. They will collaborate with national partners to scale up and sustain these efforts, and will conduct rigorous evaluations of the impact of project interventions.

“Eradicating child labor is a necessary task that binds us all together and has global benefits for everyone,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “Our experience shows it is important to forge partnerships with countries to ensure that children are educated and not exploited.”

In Bolivia, the department awarded a $6 million grant to Desarrollo y Autogestion for a project that will work closely with indigenous leaders, urban and rural communities, and the government of Bolivia. The project will raise awareness of health and occupational hazards inflicted by the worst forms of child labor. The grant also will combat forced labor, and support Bolivia’s new education law by helping to provide children with basic and accelerated education. In addition, it will develop technical secondary school programs, offering economic empowerment to communities and support to small enterprises that raise household incomes.

The department awarded $9.5 million to the World Food Program to address child labor in Egypt’s agriculture sector.… Read the rest

U.S. DOL Reports/Child Labor Products List

In December 2010, DOL released three reports on child labor and/or forced labor in foreign countries. Included in the release is the newly redesigned, ninth annual Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor, a report mandated by the Trade and Development Act of 2000 that provides information on the efforts of certain U.S. trade beneficiary countries to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. This year’s report highlights the major findings related to each government’s efforts and includes country-specific suggestions for government action to combat these problems.

DOL also released ILAB’s update to its List of Goods Produced by Child or Forced Labor, which is mandated by the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005. The update adds 6 new goods and 12 new countries for a total of 128 goods from 70 countries that ILAB has reason to believe are produced by forced labor, child labor or both, in violation of international standards.

DOL released ILAB’s proposed revision to the current List of Products Produced by Forced or Indentured Child Labor pursuant to Executive Order 13126 of 1999. The proposed revision removes one product from the list and adds another, for a total of 29 products from 21 countries. A link to the reports can also be found here.… Read the rest

A dozen nations added to U.S. Government child, forced labor list (AP)


WASHINGTON — The Labor Department is adding a dozen countries to the list of nations that use child labor or forced labor, as officials warn the global economic crisis could cause an upswing in the exploitation of children and other workers.

From coffee grown in El Salvador to sapphires mined in Madagascar, the agency’s latest reports, to be released Wednesday, identify 128 goods from 70 countries where child labor, forced labor or both are used in violation of international standards.

“Shining light on these problems is a first step toward motivating governments, the private sector and concerned citizens to take action to end these intolerable abuses that have no place in our modern world,” said Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.

New to the list are Angola, Central African Republic, Chad, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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